Kobe Bryant returned to the court under a triumphant ovation.
It did not matter that he committed eight turnovers and played just less than 28 minutes of game action. Or that he missed seven of his nine shots or that he was a -9 on the floor. Or that the Raptors ended up winning the game 106-94. OK, maybe that part mattered to Kobe Bryant, the perfectionist.
For Lakers fans though, having No. 24 back on the floor was just a relief. Even if it meant waiting an agonizingly long time for him to put up his first shot — although that assist to Robert Sacre was very nice.
It is just a jolt to the whole team and the whole fan base. The Lakers at 10-10 seem like they are starting an entirely new season. It might as well be.
Bryant has a long way to go before he is fully, truly ready to come back or be back to his old self. Bryant admitted he needs to still get himself in better shape and lose some weight. This from a guy with eight percent body fat. If we could all have that problem.
The Lakers though got their man back. Everyone is happy.
Now, let's see if this hodgpodge team can get on the winning track and compete in the super-competitive Western Conference.